|New Mexico State Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786
Public Outreach Director
February 6, 2003
Government, Business, Education and Community Leaders Call for
Legislators to Fund Education First
(Santa Fe, NM)-Governmental, business, educational and community
leaders today called for Governor Bill Richardson and legislators
to fund education first during Education First Day at the state
Capitol. The event was sponsored by New Mexico First, the New Mexico
Business Roundtable for Educational Excellence and the Teacher Education
Accountability Council (TEAC).
Speaking on behalf of education were Tony Trujillo, chairman of
New Mexico First, Michael J. Davis, state superintendent of Public
Instruction, former Governor Garrey Carruthers, chairman of the
business roundtable, Elizabeth Jenkins, acting executive director
of the Commission on Higher Education, and TEAC representative Peter
Winograd, with the University of New Mexico.
"The legislative and executive branches should fund education
first and prioritize the rest of New Mexico's needs after. We urge
our legislators and our Governor to make New Mexico's vision of
a strong and vibrant public school system a reality this year,"
"Specific far-reaching solutions will take much political
willpower and personal sacrifice. But we must remember that the
success of our youth ensures the economic viability of our state.
If we are to commit ourselves to economic opportunity and equity
in our state for all, our public schools must be first in our hearts,
our minds and our pocketbooks. Children are our most important resource,"
he said, quoting the consensus of the 22nd New Mexico First Town
Hall held in Taos in 1999.
The leaders urged a focus on student success, quality teaching,
early childhood education, early literacy and reading, reasonable
accountability and adequate resources.
State Superintendent Davis said, "Our message is one of hope
and optimism for the young people of New Mexico. Obviously, the
issues surrounding education can be tough and contentious. But it
is equally obvious that New Mexicans care deeply about their children
and their children's future."